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Summer Fun for Elders and Caregivers

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The hot summer months can be hard for everyone, but especially seniors. Often it is advisable to stay indoors and keep cool in order to avoid heat related illnesses. Nevertheless, summer is a time to enjoy the warm weather and the activities that come with it.
How can you and your caregiver stay active and enjoy your summer while staying cool and healthy? Here are some tips and examples of senior friendly summer activities.

Indoor Activities
• If you enjoy music, consider finding free concerts in your area or taking time to create a music collection on an iPod or CD.

• Organize old photos and create a scrapbook that you and your caregiver can add to throughout the summer. Ask family and friends to add mementos and share memories and stories.

• Go out to the movies, especially on very hot days.

• Take a trip to the mall. Even if you don't love to shop, find a nice bench or take a walk.

• Join a book club or start one with friends and family members. If reading is difficult, consider audio books, which can be found online or at local libraries.

• Participate in activities at local recreation and senior centers. Centers offer a wide range of activities from painting to exercise classes. If you are a caregiver, consider researching these activities with your loved one and take a class together.

• If you are not very tech savvy, try to learn new computer skills. Ask your caregiver to setup a computer and teach you. Many people enjoying playing online games such as chess and Scrabble. Video chatting is also a great way to stay connected with family members who might not be close enough to visit regularly.

• Sit and watch the sunrise or sunset. Many seniors rise early, so take advantage of the cool mornings to have some quality time with your loved ones.

Exercising and Staying Active
• Take an early morning or late evening walk or wheelchair ride at a park or on a quiet road.

• Consider taking swimming or aerobics classes to stay active and meet new people. Many recreation centers also have specific hours for swimming set aside for seniors.

• Develop your own fitness routine that you can do in your home with your caregiver.

These are just a few suggestions of how to make summer fun and safe for seniors and caregivers. Whether you enjoy staying active or reading a good book, remember to stay cool and enjoy the warm weather.

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